DJ B-Ruff (or Benni, as he is usually referred to) rose to prominence in the early 2000s with one of Iceland’s most respected rap outfits, Forgotten Lores. Throughout the years, Benni’s repertoire of collaborations reads like a Who’s Who of the Icelandic hip-hop scene. Today he is also known for his radio show Tetriz, on Xið 97.7, as well as for being a part of Dillalude, an Icelandic tribute project that focuses on the music of the late hip-hop producer J Dilla. Benni has performed all over the world and shared the stage with Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent and Hudson Mohawke, to name a few. He will be performing at Iceland Airwaves in autumn, and in New York shortly after. Until then, you can catch him DJ-ing at Prikið, Húrra, Slippbarinn or Kaffibarinn.
The beginning of B-Ruff
“I was given DJ equipment for my confirmation in 1995 and afterwards started practicing everyday after school. Two years later I started playing on the hip-hop radio show Kronik and at the nightclub Tetriz shortly after that, shouts out to DJ Rampage.”
Benni’s musical background lies in old school hip-hop but says he also really likes listening to new stuff: “I’m fascinated by many different styles of hip-hop, such as r&b, trap and bouncy futuristic hip-hop. However, it all depends on whether I’m performing live or on the radio, which kind of set I play, but I usually mix together different hip-hop genres.”
The different venues in Reykjavík
Benni says he enjoys the variety of venues there are in Reykjavík, and is excited to see Nasa opening again after much speculation and uncertainty regarding its future. “I must admit that Prikið is a special place for me,” he reflects. That’s where I started out in 2000 and I always love playing there.”
Gear & audio effects
“I use a 2 Sl Technics and a Pioneer s9, records and a Serato. If I were and audio effect I’d be an EQ, then I could filter myself when I have to!” Benni explains. “Maybe that’s just how I see myself though, I might just be a delay.”
“I love playing for people who are open-minded, who are ready to hear a good mix and appreciate the all the scratches and juggles. I like people who are ready to lose themselves in the feeling. Icelanders can create a pretty powerful crowd, they are up to date with what’s happening in the music scene and know what they like.”
Five essential tracks of the moment
“Silfurskotta” by Emmsjé Gauti
“Rúllupp” by Aron Can
“Come and See Me” by Partynextdoor
“By Any Means” by Schoolboy Q
“Where Are You Now?” by Lady Leshurr
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